Talking menswear with Donrad Duncan, the creative mind behind men’s luxe activewear brand Engineered for Motion, is a bit like talking space travel with Elon Musk—his clarity of vision and electrifying ideas turn you into a believer.
“My day is spent, basically, in the future,” Duncan says.
That clairvoyance has led the Jamaican-born designer to make a prediction: “We’re moving into an era of needing fewer things,” he says, an insight that’s prompted him to create especially versatile menswear featuring extra-flexible knit fabrics, less-bulky ultrasonically pressed seams, and laser-cut cloth. Ultimately, he says, his pieces are made to perform in transition—hot weather to cold, over-the-shoulder to overhead bin, office hours to after hours—“so you can take part in different occasions with the same attire.”
Of course, living in the future often includes paying homage to the past. “I grew up in Jamaica, heavily influenced by British tailoring,” Duncan says. “My uncle was a tailor and my grandfather had garments imported from Savile Row. The way they fit, the craftsmanship, was very clear.”
And so, built into EFM’s pieces, with their slim silhouettes and lightweight performance fabrics, are features designed to serve a man’s everyday needs. A structured-but-stretchy notch-lapel blazer (pictured left), for example, features a reverse-entry pocket of translucent fabric so you can check your phone while biking.
“The things that go unseen are very keen to me,” says Duncan. “If you miss that, you’ll never achieve perfection.”
*Sporting Engineered for Motion is actor Aaron Tveit, who starred in USA’s Graceland and can now be seen in BrainDead, the new CBS political thriller from the creators of The Good Wife.